Improving the Discoverability of Scholarly
Content in the Twenty-First Century
Collaboration Opportunities for Librarians, Publishers, and Vendors
Mary M. Somerville, University Librarian/Director and Professor, University of
Colorado Denver, Auraria Library, Denver, Colorado
Barbara J. Schader, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Scholarly
Communication, University of California Riverside, Rivera Library, Riverside,
John R. Sack, Associate Publisher and Director, HighWire Press, Stanford
University Libraries and Academic Information Resources, Palo Alto, California
A White Paper Commissioned by SAGE
Disclaimer: This white paper was supported by SAGE in an effort to
contribute further to the conversation and debate around discoverability.
It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of SAGE.
Discoverability is a popular buzzword — ultimately
meaning the degree to whicin scinolars can locate the
content needed to advance their research and other
creative activity. Improved user discovery experiences
require heightened collaboration among (1) scholarly
publishers and their published authors; (2) search
engine developers, database providers, abstracting
and indexing services, and academic publishers;
(3) electronic resource management and integrated
library system vendors; and (4) librarians who advance
institutional discoverability. Drawing from interviews
with value chain experts, results of research studies,
and insights from scholarly literature, this white paper
assesses the currently fragmented discovery environment
and proposes cross-sector conversations to further
visibility and, ultimately, usage of the scholarly corpus,
not only on the open web, but within library services.
Discoverability: Concept Introduction
Researchers should have the best of all worlds: discovery
acceleration tools in familiar web environments, the
power of detailed indexing to produce highly relevant and
precise search results, and seamless identification and
fulfillment experiences. Achieving such ambitions requires
purposeful conversations among contributors to the value
chain for scholarship production and dissemination. Four
main parties are involved in creating and/or consuming
scholarly content: scholars, who produce the work and
are its ultimate consumers; editors (often faculty), who
act as the bridge between scholars and publishers by
shaping the vision of academic works, managing peer
review, and ensuring content acquisition; publishers, who
curate, refine, disseminate, and promote scholarly works;
and subscribers, largely institutions, who purchase,
lease, or access the corpus. Traditional scholarly values
fortify and sustain these long-standing relationships
despite transformative forces that have irrevocably
altered the established knowledge generation landscape.
Discoverability has been particularly transformed, as end
users employ a growing range of navigation strategies-
demonstrated by web log analytics that calculate the sites
from which users of scholarly resources were referred
and studies that report where users started their research
before arriving at content websites, among other points of
evidence. To optimize this complex discovery value chain,
libraries' vendors (bibliographic data services, content
aggregators, and technology providers), publishers'
vendors (printers, platform hosts, content architects, and
technology providers), and search engine providers must
initiate forward-thinking conversations.
Therefore, this white paper, sponsored by SAGE, aims
to deepen collective dialogue about and reflection on
the optimum discovery of scholarly publications and
authoritative information today. Such conversations must
necessarily consider a wider range of topics— library
discovery tools, web discovery services, publisher
tutorial services, and library research pages. The
increasing presence of social media, including "the
Googlization of everything," predicts that researcher
behaviors will continue to evolve. As such, suggestions
for best practices and shared solutions aspire to further
involve (1) publishers with the authors whose interests
they represent, (2) search engine developers with the
publishers who provide them with scholarly content to
index, (3) electronic resource management (ERM) service
providers with the publishers and librarians who advance
institutional discoverability, and (4) librarians with the
researchers and scholars who contribute to and harvest
from scholarly materials. These sustained relationships
could generate actionable outcomes that harness the
full potential of contemporary technology and human
This proposal is timely. In recent years— amid
accelerating, unrelenting changes that promise
to fundamentally transform scholarly knowledge
creation, dissemination, and research— the concept of
discoverability has emerged as a shared concern for
publishers, vendors, and librarians who are committed
to enhancing the ease with which researchers can locate
and use relevant academic material to further studies.
Although the fourteen supply chain representatives
interviewed for this paper had markedly different points
of view, all agreed that improved discoverability depends
on heightened cross-sector collaboration. Interviewees
across the industry -from OCLC to EBSCOhost, ITHAKA,
HighWire Press, and Serials Solutions— expressed
tliis imperative in terms of "sinal<ing iiands," "inaving
conversations," and "tliinl<ing togetlier" to enable robust
knowledge exchange and generation activities and
enduring research and publication practices.
Discovery Concept Revisited
In response to value chain representatives' consensus,
this paper challenges the simplistic definition of
discoverability as solely comprising technical search
engine optimization methods for ensuring that content,
whether licensed, owned, or free, is readily findable in
the open web. Rather, as study participants agreed,
even if you "build it" and index it, "they may not come."^
Therefore, the location, placement, and context of
published material are vital to nuanced definitions of
discoverability. As one value chain contributor observed,
"resources, information, and data must be visible without
having to look . . . outside your normal path, in your usual
space."^ In other words, there are increasingly more ways
of finding that do not necessarily start with searching,
such as press releases from researchers' home institution,
alerting services from journal websites, widgets to
announce content on related sites, and discussion
forums and blogs for disciplinary colleagues— all of which
serve to enhance visibility and promote discovery and,
ultimately, usage. Review of core published literature,
including commissioned research studies supplemented
by proprietary vendor studies, corroborated this
observation and provided evidence that users are
discovering scholarly content through an ever-growing
range of pathways, thereby intensifying the need for
cross-sector best practices and increased collaboration.
At present, however, discoverability— including finding
information serendipitously (i.e., information that you
didn't even know you needed^)— is an imperfect process
among already uncertain experiences that depend
largely on invisible interdependencies among value chain
contributors and users. In response, this white paper aims
to explicate evolving interrelationships among traditional
contributors to scholarship as well as newer participants
providing integrated library systems, ERM systems,
e-journal platforms, and web scale discovery services.
The latter perspectives are not well represented in the
professional literature, which precipitated interviews
of industry experts from July through October 201 1 .
Interview questions probed industry best practices and
challenges, provoking one interviewee to quip, "I think
the simple question to ask each of us who are a piece of
the value chain is 'What practices would you recommend
for the OTHER guys in the value chain?' . . . since, of
course, we already implement best practices in our own
part of the chain, don't we?"" This suggestion guided our
analysis of interview content, which explores statements
of best practices and collaboration opportunities across
the industry, and it informed our mission to encourage
cross-sector dialogue on improving discoverability and
visibility of scholarly content, "whenever, wherever, and
however,"^ with a primary focus on discovery of online
publications and surrounding services.
Discoverability: IHistory and Context
Some historical background is helpful in considering
how we arrived where we are and for the purpose of
determining where we need to aim because, despite
increasingly challenging organizational contexts
exacerbated by economic uncertainty and disruptive
technologies, "the driving missions of academic
publishing and librarianship have not changed."^ The
shared goal remains furthering discovery, access, and
usage of scholarly publications and creative work.
Similarly, the age-old process of furthering knowledge
creation through formal and informal information
exchange remains constant though uncertain, whereas
conducting information-seeking and retrieval activities
has intensified amid the proliferation of new and different
search tools, sources, and channels,^ which confuse
traditional signifiers of quality and authority.
The importance of a sustainable integrated system for
production and dissemination was anticipated as early
as 1945 by Dr. Vannevar Bush, director of the Office of
Research and Scientific Development, who, in his classic
Atlantic Monthly article,^ celebrated the record of ideas,
which catalyze knowledge generation. Bush recognized
the importance of first selecting credible sources for "the
record" and then the most relevant sources to advance
disciplinary understanding. He characterized human
thinking as associative, concluding that interrogation
depends on robust indexing schemas that animate an
intricate "web of trails carried by the cells of the brain." In
establishing a sense of urgency. Bush noted, "Mendel's
concept of the laws of genetics was lost to the world for
a generation because his publication did not reach the
few who were capable of grasping and extending it; and
this sort of catastrophe is undoubtedly being repeated
all about us, as truly significant attainments become lost
in the mass of the inconsequential."^ This concept was
eloquently rephrased decades later: "We have billions of
pages indexed in Google, we need a few million good
In this early call to action. Bush urges collaborative
efforts to address "the massive task of making more
accessible our bewildering store of knowledge," noting
that professional "methods of transmitting and reviewing
the results of research are generations old and by now
are totally inadequate for their purpose."''^ Nearly a half
century later, the World Wide Web was invented (in 1 990)
and Google launched (in 1998), thereby accelerating the
knowledge potential and complexity challenges driving
today's need for better articulated, more collaborative
discoverability and visibility solutions.
Discovery Improvement Prerequisites
In the wake of technology-driven consequences that
disrupted scholarly publication traditions (including
search and retrieval), significant progress in the
past twenty years has advanced the possibility of
achieving what Bush termed "the record" of human
accomplishment. The URL (uniform resource locator)
format evolved to become a persistent identifier for a
digital object. Termed digital object identifier (DOI), it may
include such properties as an ISSN for a journal-level
link. Furthermore, the CrossRef ^ initiative— founded and
directed by publishers— contains DOIs and metadata,
including the online locations of objects. This initiative
enables web scale discovery search engines to link
authenticated institutional users to local library holdings.
For our interviewees, it made the DOI "come alive" and
helped "get me the article"''^ and "find it in the library."
The OpenURL standard, advanced by the National
Information Standards Organization (NISO), builds on this
technology. Established as ANSI standard Z39.88-2004,
this protocol effectively contains two parts: first, a base
URL (Z39.88), which refers to the location of OpenURL
resolver software deployed by, for instance, an academic
library; second, a context object (2004), which describes
the item of interest using an agreed syntax, thereby
permitting identification of additional items of interest.
In a complementary fashion, a United Kingdom Serials
Group/NISO initiative known as KBART (Knowledge
Bases and Related Tools) guides standardizing data and
practices for ERM knowledge bases that populate library
website A-Z lists and link resolvers. These initiatives not
only illustrate the wide-ranging interests and activities
across the scholarly information community— libraries,
publishers, ERM vendors, data standards, standards
organizations, platform vendors, among others— but also
suggest the complexity of coordinated efforts required
to attain current levels of reliability and quality across
multiple information flows, which, if exploited fully, "offer
a nicely oiled chain— technology working with and for the
Additional international initiatives are concurrently
advancing the development of other facets of scholarly
communications. For instance, the author DOI — like the
content DOI, which permanently tracks an object (be it a
book, an article, a chapter, a graph, etc.)— would trace a
scholar across all of his or her work, whether as a primary
author of a text, a peer reviewer, or an authoritative
commenter In another initiative, an overlay kitemark
would track versions of record in a world where digital
preprint, postprint, revised, copied, and republished
versions abound. Named for the British Standards
Institution certification schemes indicating quality and
adherence to standards, the kitemark could contain
metadata ranging from the type of peer review an article
underwent to the retraction or revision of any citations.
A complementary initiative advanced by representatives
from all areas of the community is ORCID (Open
Researcher and Contributor ID),''^ which aims to provide
researchers and other entities with unique identifiers to
associate with their research outputs. Version of record
is also being addressed'^ to ensure that researchers
have visibility into the various incarnations of a journal
article through its life cycle of publication and can locate
the authoritative and most recent version of a given
work. NISO has recommended standard version terms,
and CrossRef has released a new feature for version
validation, called CrossMark.
Meanwhile, webmasters are increasingly adopting
schemas such as HTML to construct (i.e., mark up) web
pages in ways recognized by major search engines, such
as Bing and Google. When these search providers directly
access databases structured by standardized schema,
they can improve discovery of relevant web pages.
Within the scholarship realm, ScholarlyArticle offers a
structured data schema to enable improved discovery
of appropriate creative content tlirougli consideration
of a variety of unique properties, including publislier,
editor, reviewer, genre, reviews, ratings, institution,
iocation, creation date, and modification date, as well as
author, title, and source^^— aii value-added signifiers of
provenance and authority. Since journal publishers began
providing online access to full-text scholarly articles
in the late 1990s— thus triggering a revolution in the
scholarly communications process— these cross-sector
advancements have assumed growing importance.
Library Discovery Evolution
For centuries, card catalogs facilitated access to the
monographic literature. As information and computer
sciences evolved in the 1970s and early 1980s,
automated library systems were introduced to replace
them. Earliest OPACs (online public access catalogs)
enhanced the search functionalities of traditional card
catalogs by offering Boolean search functionalities. In
the late 1990s and early twenty-first century, library
vendors developed federated search solutions; these
simultaneously searched, retrieved, and displayed
content from various remote information hosts— such
as abstracting and indexing (A&l) services and full-text
databases— but with limited success. In addition, they
were typically difficult or time-consuming to configure and
maintain. Later in the decade, library catalogs evolved
into their next generation, offering increased intuitive
functionality, integration with open web services, and
user interfaces mimicking popular websites, such as
Amazon.com. This generation of catalogs also provided
the capacity to harvest records from locally hosted
library silos of information. In short, these systems
offered new discovery layer options, uncoupled from any
specific underlying integrated library system, nowadays
comprising a variety of highly coordinated library
management system modules.
More recently, Google Scholar's release in 2004 led to the
competitive development of web scale discovery services
for the library environment. In 2009, Serials Solutions
announced the development of such a resource when
it unveiled its web scale discovery tool. Summon. Other
vendors soon followed with similar products, such as
EBSCO's Discovery Service and Ex Libris's Prime Central.
These products more easily connect researchers with
the library's vast information repository, including locally
held and hosted content, as in physical holdings, digital
collections, and local institutional repositories. Perhaps
more significant, web scale discovery enables access
to a widespread array of remotely hosted content, often
purchased or licensed by the library, such as publisher
and aggregator content for tens of thousands of full-text
journals, additional content from A&l resources, and
content from open-access repositories. This is made
possible by preharvesting and centrally indexing content
sourced across multiple silos, thereby streamlining
discovery and delivery of content. In other words, "web
scale discovery can be considered as deep discovery
within a vast ocean of content . . . normalized into an
underlying schema developed by the discovery service
vendor that facilitates indexing, relevancy ranking, and
even level of presentation for different content types with
potentially varying levels of metadata,"^^ searching a
broader collection than what the local library may own or
Scholarly Ecosystem Shifts
Web scale discovery and visibility tools depend on
value-added, largely invisible contributions of authors,
publishers, librarians, and vendors who compose the
scholarly value chain. In this symbiotic ecosystem,
• librarians manage systems for institutional
collection, dissemination, and retrieval of the
• publishers produce and promote authors' work
through formats findable on the open web and in
• publishers' technology vendors supply
e-publication platforms and strategic
discoverability solutions; and
• libraries' technology vendors connect publishers'
digital content to OPACs through ERM systems
and web scale discovery services.
Traditionally, these content and service providers satisfied
complementary roles: publishers provided gatekeeper
services, ensuring peer-reviewed content adjudicated by
peer-reviewed editorial boards; in turn, librarians served
as access gatekeepers for the published authoritative
resources. However, the Internet has disturbed those
comfortable and conventional relationships, thereby
necessitating reinvention of centuries-old partnerships
mindful of the mandate to make scholarly content
widely "discovered or discoverable." This now involves
search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine
interoperability to promote effective crawling, indexing,
and ranking by search engines— "thinking, in other words,
about the robot users of our systems as well as the
The purpose for optimizing online products for search
engines is essentially to improve their visibility to readers
and researchers of all kinds. This challenges publishers to
invest in technically sound SEO strategies as a standard
element of editorial and operational divisions, which can
disturb standard business practices. Publishing house
staff must grow and maintain actionable knowledge of
SEO techniques, which regularly fluctuates as online
technologies and the businesses that offer them advance.
Publishers must also continually monitor the successful
discovery of their products through sites like Google and
Bing, and make rapid modifications to content platforms
and online products to keep pace with the changeable
landscape of online searching.
Publishers are equally concerned with effectively
mapping their products for use within the diverse arena
of library products and services. Unique library website
designs and OPACs come in wide varieties. In addition,
to ensure quality discoverability of their products within
the library ecosystem, publishers must now produce
quality secondary data for ERM vendors. Traditionally,
generation of this metadata was the purview of A&l
services. Today, however, publishers must fulfill the
expectation to deliver free bibliographic data at purchase,
without any assurance that libraries will use these data
in uniform ways— if at all. Publishers must meet the
resource demands for library indexing and cataloging
requirements in staff knowledge and time as well as
systems and equipment. To scale these functions,
publishers must overcome manual maintenance routines
and establish automated content management systems
that allow metadata deliveries to vendors that are both
cost effective and time efficient. Investment in XML-based
technologies has also become a standard infrastructural
addition to most publishing houses.^"
In contrast, discovery of and access to content remains
important for libraries, in librarians' opinion^^— despite
growing faculty perceptions that libraries' value
resides in their "buyer" function, which increasingly
"disintermediates" libraries from scholarly research
processes.2^ Traditionally, this role was expressed through
a combination of effective cataloging and classification,
open and browsable stacks, A&l tools, reference/research
support, instructional programs, and other services that
improve the range and quality of information available
in and through libraries. In a discovery environment
increasingly dominated by web search services, such
as Google and Bing, libraries are struggling to perform
their discovery role amid increasingly complex changing
workflows, licensure restrictions, statistics analysis,
and return-on-investment expectations. Despite
these obstacles— further exacerbated by uncertain
and declining budgets^^— libraries are in increasing
numbers implementing web scale discovery platforms
that manage local access through a single index that
provides relevancy ranking, facets for drilling deeply into
search results, user ability to write or read summaries
and read or add editorial comments, and agnostic
access to content in all forms. Furthermore, all this can
occur in mobile mode because companies such as Ex
Libris, EBSCO, OGLC, and Serials Solutions partner with
growing numbers of publishers of primary and secondary
content (scholarly corpus and A&l services, respectively)
to produce simplified, centrally indexed content, amid
growing recognition in all scholarly value chain sectors of
the importance of web scale discovery services.
As a consequence, libraries can now replicate the
centralized search model of Google's search interface
and speed, content breadth, and quality results, thereby
finally addressing the vexing question, if Google can do it,
why can't libraries? Although the implications for libraries
are not fully understood in terms of implementing web
scale discovery services, at least one published study
reports a dramatic decrease in the use of traditional A&l
databases and an equally dramatic increase in the use
of resources from full-text database and online journal
collections.^" In anticipating this phenomenon, an A&l
vendor responded in an industry survey, "These services
may expose our content to users who would never think
to choose our database for their search, and my fear is
that if we are not 'in,' then we are well and truly 'out.' On
the other hand, we may lose brand recognition and if their
usage reporting isn't sophisticated enough, how will the
library know that it was our database that navigated the
user to the full text? So we risk losing out that way too."^^
Similarly, within a library context, when a link resolver
enables Google Scholar, it eliminates the need for a user
to understand the distinctions among databases^^—
reflective of the dilemma that "while authors and
readers want us to be invisible, libraries, publishers, and
vendors want constituencies to recognize our value. "^'^
Contributors throughout the value chain experience such
uncertainties in the wake of a former library monopoly on
access to peer-reviewed scholarship.
Shared Aspirations and Accomplishments
As a consequence, publishers, libraries, and vendors
must necessarily explore the following: "In these days
where users are searching across huge amounts of
information with free web tools, how can we support
discovery of the quality vetted and peer reviewed content
that libraries invest in and scholars require at appropriate
points in their workflow?"^^ In echoing that publisher's
sentiments, two discovery service leaders phrased the
quandary thusly: "How can you make searching the
library as easy as searching the Web?"^^ and "The users
are comfortable with the open web and the Googles
of the world. We need to make our services just as
natural and easy to use."^° This shared cross-sector
aspiration requires expanded partnerships to promote
discoverability and visibility— that is, "Can I find it?" and
"Can it find me?"^^
Discoverability requires content to be well indexed
and well represented. Ideally, metadata would be
continually enriched through the supply chain as they
pass from author to publisher to platform to ERM vendor
to discoverability service to library and, finally, to the
end user. In response, publishers have evolved best
practices for metadata, "depositing it anywhere they
will accept it,"^^ such as RSS feeds for library vendors.
Routine iterative testing now generates new publisher
website design practices that ensure optimum search
engine optimization, measured by assessment tools
with increasingly sophisticated success metrics. Many
platform providers that partner with publishers further
discovery through content enrichment and regular
usability testing that ensures that online content is
well presented— whether on a publisher's website or a
university catalog, whether at home or work, whether
through Google Scholar or PubMed.
Visibility involves placing information in locations where
people will come across it in the work that they do. In
response, publishers and others have initiated various
Web 2.0 efforts to further engage online content— for
instance, Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to
individual publications (e.g., journals) or to cohorts of
scholars and authors within particular fields of study. In
addition, publishers are beginning to explore enhanced
information environments for novice researchers-
displaying encyclopedia entries alongside journal articles
and developing search widgets to populate library
sites^^— as a supplement to other end user support
services. Finally, in response to growing demand from
mobile device owners, contributors across the value
chain are developing mobile websites, apps, and related
As a consequence to the increased pressures for
institutional libraries to demonstrate outcomes and
impact and maximize resource usage, best practices have
evolved in recent years through adoption of COUNTER
(Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic
Resources) and SUSHI (Standardized Usage Harvesting
Initiative)^" for content access and web analytics for
user behavior. Value chain interviewees concurred that
additional discussion on enhanced metrics exploring,
among other dimensions, the matter of completeness and
currency would enhance the practical use of such data.^^
As expressed by one journal aggregator vendor, "how
do you measure what isn't found?"^^ Such sentiments
point to the heightened level of aspiration needed to take
discoverability and visibility to the next phase.
Collaborative Conversations Leading to Better
Practices and Next Steps
Despite considerable progress and impressive goodwill,
much work remains. Libraries and commercial entities
need to find new ways of working together. Again, this
proposal is timely, given that web statistical services such
as Google Analytics demonstrate that researchers are
increasingly using many pathways to discover content.
To improve user experiences, value chain contributors
spanning the full range must share "what they want
and need from one another,"^'' including specific
functions, best practices, unmet goals, and collaborative
recommendations. Drawing from expert cross-sector
interview data, the following recommendations highlight
optimism for future collaborations, with the promise
to enhance discoverability through changed industry
standards that will catalyze and crystallize new best
For publishers and vendors:
• Initiate cross-platform, cross-publisher
investigations to identify best industry practices,
further share standards, and apply researcher
behavior findings, then revise online product
and publisher website designs based on these
• Become more conversant with how libraries
operate so that they can more successfully
advance local discoverability through
improved records workflow, acquisitions
functions, statistics management, and systems
• Implement more open, standardized approaches
to online hosting that allows published content
to be used as a platform upon which others can
innovate, such as
o CrossMark standard to signal to the
user which version of a scholarly
item— that is, of the many versions-
is in fact the archival, published one;
o Machine-readable Creative
Commons license tagging to guide
usage privileges and attribution
For publishers and librarians:
• Vigilantly monitor knowledge of researcher
needs and habits (which will inevitably change
as discovery and delivery functions evolve) to
improve the connections between readers and
• Collaborate on metadata enrichment and
successful ingestion into library systems, such
as OPACs, and coordinate about routine testing
to ensure that all holdings are visible and easily
• Productively collaborate on improved means
of teaching novice and expert researchers to
use existing systems,"^ with the aim of building
systems that are better suited to the way that
researchers want to behave.
For all members of the scholarly
• Consider what new discoverability services,
givien general-purpose search engines access to
metadata records for indexing purposes, could
be leveraged from search engine utilities. For
example, widespread adoption of ScholarlyArticle
tagging, found at schema.org, is an especially
promising initiative, as is standardizing the
metadata embedded in HTML and PDF versions
of an article.''^
• Revisit how business is done based on the
o First, the difference between library
patron and consumer is blurring.
Most users do not recognize
exactly where content is served or
stored, and they may be willing to
directly pay all or part of the cost to
secure the needed information. For
these reasons, more varied pricing
structures need to evolve.
o Second, content is fluid in an online
ecosystem, where users may want
only a sentence or a page out of a
whole publication. The conversation
in the value chain therefore needs
to consider expanded copyright
solutions. If such barriers were
removed, libraries may save money;
publishers may uncover new revenue
streams; and end user access may
• Further cross-industry standards for content file
formats, quality of metadata, and usage statistics
to ensure interoperability among search engines,
publisher platforms, and integrated library
systems, especially as new models for scholarly
The development of more sophisticated discovery and
visibility strategies very much depends on heightened
cross-sector collaborations. The conversations proposed
above suggest some especially promising topics for
discussion, which surfaced during interviews with sector
experts. Such exchanges on improvements in web scale
discovery are timely, as the technical prerequisites,
shared standards, and best practices for significantly
enhanced search performance have either been
developed or are in development. At the same time, new
forms of scholarship are emerging, and user experience
expectations are accelerating — intensifying the need for
value chain contributors to Initiate boundary-crossing
inquiries that benefit scholarship. Librarians know the
research and discovery needs of their patrons; publishers
and editors understand the curation, production, and
dissemination of scholarly content; and vendors provide
necessary technological infrastructure through platform,
discovery, and organizational tools - however, each does
not sufficiently understand the perspective of the others.
Collaboration across the academic value chain is critical
if we are to realize our collective potential and catalyze
knowledge generation for today's scholars.
Gratitude and praise is offered to those who graciously
gave their time to participate in this research project and
share their thoughts on the changing face of information
discovery. Their insights, suggestions, and referrals to
other individuals, readings, and blogs have informed
this white paper and furthered the very cross-sector
conversations we strongly recommend.
• Kimberly Armstrong, Deputy Director, Center for
• Mike Buschman, Director, Product Management,
• Lettie Conrad, Online Product Manager, SAGE
• Michael Gorrell, Senior Vice President, Chief
Information Office, EBSCO Publishing
• David Horowitz, Vice President of Sales, SAGE
• Simon Inger, Simon Inger Consulting, Ltd.
• Suzanne Kemperman, Director, Publisher
Relations, Business Development Group, OCLC
• George Machovec, Interim Executive Director,
Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries
• Ed McBride, Director of Library Sales, SAGE
• Elena NIkitina, Executive Director of Journals
• John Sack, Associate Publisher and Director,
HighWire Press, Stanford University
• Martha Sedgwick, Senior Manager, Online
Products Team, SAGE
• Ron Snyder, Technology and Research Manager,
• Jabin White, Vice President of Content
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1 . Simon Inger, interview, September 8, 201 1 .
2. Inger, interview.
3. Maureen Donovan, "Networl<ing and the Changing Environment for
Academic Research," in Scholarly Practice, Participatory Design and
the Extensible Catalog, ed. Nancy Fried Foster, Katie Clark, Kornelia
Tancheva, and Rebekah Kilzer (Chicago: ALA, 201 1), 51-74.
4. John Sack, interview, July 1 5, 201 1 .
5. Suzanne Kemperman, interview, October 5, 201 1 .
6. Lettie Conrad, "Discovering Authoritative Reference Material: It's All
about 'Location, Location, Location,'" in E-reference Context and
Discoverability in Libraries: Issues and Concepts, ed. Sue Polanka
(Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2011), 137-47.
7. Sudatta Chowdhury, Forbes Gibb, Monica Landoni, "Uncertainty
in Information Seeking and Retrieval: A Study in an Academic
Environment," Information Processing and Management 47 (201 1):
8. Vannevar Bush, "As We May Think," Atlantic Monthly, July 1945,
9. Bush, "As We May Think."
1 0. Sack, interview.
1 1 . Bush, "As We May Think."
12. CrossRef, http://www.crossref.org/.
13. Ross Maclntyre, "The Technologies That Oil the Supply Chain,"
Serials 24, no. 1 (2011): 89-92.
14. Maclntyre, "The Technologies That Oil."
15. ORCID, http://orcid.org/.
16. Lettie Conrad, "Journal Article Versioning Is Harder Than It Looks . .
. or Should Be!" Against the Grain 23, no. 2 (201 1): 20-21 .
17. Schema.org, http://schema.org/ScholarlyArticle.
18. Jason Vaughan, "Web Scale Discovery: What and Why?" Information
Technology & Libraries (201 1), http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.
edu/lib_artlcles/44/ or http://www.ala.org/aia/mgrps/divs/lita/ital/
prepub/vaughan201 1 .pdf.
19. Lorcan Demsey, "Effective Web Presence . . . Lorcan Demsey's
Weblog," May 31 , 201 1 , http://orweblog.oclc.org/.
20. Conrad, "Discovering Authoritative Reference Material."
21 . Matthew P. Long and Roger C. Schonfeld, "Ithaka S+R Library
Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors,"
22. Roger C. Schonfeld, "Faculty Survey 2009: Key Strategic Insights
for Libraries, Publishers, and Societies," April 7, 2010, http://
23. Publishers Communication Group, "Library Budget Predictions for
201 1 — Results from a Telephone Survey," August 2010, http://www.
pcgplus.com/pdfs/LibraryBudget201 1 .pdf.
24. Doug Way, "The Impact of Web-Scale Discovery on the Use of a
Library Collection," Serials Review 36 (2010): 214-20.
25. National Federation of Advanced Information Services, "NFAIS
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26. Carol P. Diedrichs, "Discovery and Delivery: Making It Work for
Users," The Serials Librarian 56, nos. 1-4 (2009): 79-93.
27. Sack, interview.
28. Martha Sedgwick, interview, August 15, 2011.
29. Mike Buschman, Interview, July 13, 2011.
30. Michael Gorrell, interview, August 8, 2011.
31 . As paraphrased from Sack, interview.
32. Sedgwick, Interview.
33. Sedgwick, Interview.
34. COUNTER, "About COUNTER," http://www.projectcounter.org/
35. Sack, interview.
36. Jabin White, interview, September 28, 201 1 .
37. Sack, interview.
38. Kim Armstrong, interview, September 6, 2011.
39. Sack, interview.
40. Lettie Conrad, interview, June 30, 201 1 .
41 . Sedgwick, Interview.
42. Sack, interview.
43. As paraphrased from Suzanne Kemperman interview.
44. Multiple interviews with experts in publishing, librarlanship, content
architecture and archiving, and related services, completed in the
course of this research, 201 1 .